PDT - Photodynamic therapy

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is treatment used mainly for superficial types of skin cancer. PDT is effective in treating actinic keratoses and superficial basal cell carcinomas.

 

PDT marty front

Front on. Before Treatment, 4 days after, 8 days after.

PDT marty left angle

Left angle. Before Treatment, 4 days after, 8 days after.

For further videos from Marty's treatment and to see his progress,
visit our Skindeep Clinic Youtube Channel.

A skin cancer cosultation with Dr Andrew Botting will advise if this treatment is suitable for you. 

 

Q:

What is Photodynamic therapy (PDT) and how does it work?

A:

PDT utilises photosensitising agents, oxygen and light, to create a photochemical reaction that selectively destroys cancer cells. Photosensitising agents are drugs that are administered into the body through topical, oral or intravenous methods. In the body, they concentrate in cancer cells and only become active when light of a certain wavelength is directed onto the area where the cancer is. The photodynamic reaction between the photosensitising agent, light and oxygen kills the cancer cells.
At Skin deep clinic we use a topical sensitiser called Metvix which is liscensed in NZ for this treatment, with our Omnilux LED light treatment as a light source.

Q:

What is Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) used for?

A:

PDT is currently being used or investigated as a treatment for the following skin conditions:

Q:

How is Photodynamic therapy (PDT) given?

A:

For the treatment of skin cancers PDT is performed at Skin deep under the guidance of Dr Andrew Botting or Dr Anuya Deshpande.

Q:

What are the possible side effects of Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)?

A:

Side effects from PDT are due to the treated area being sensitive to light. The photosensitivity usually lasts about 24 hours (depending on the specific agent). Side effects may include:

  • Burning/stinging sensation
  • Swelling and redness
  • Crusting
  • Itchiness
  • Peeling and blisters
  • Skin infections

The treated area should be protected from light exposure using a dressing. A local anaesthetic such as lignocaine cream may be applied to the treatment area before or during the procedure to help relieve pain.
The treated skin lesion may blister and ulcerate as the cancer cells die off. This may take several weeks to heal. Scarring is generally minimal (but can be moderate). Loss of pigmentation may occur sometimes and can be permanent.
Although photosensitising drugs concentrate in cancer cells, they can also make healthy cells more sensitive to light. This is not a problem when photosensitising creams are used as they are localised to the treatment site.
It is more of a problem when photosensitising drugs are given by mouth or injected intravenously (not used at Skin Deep). These patients may find all parts of their body sensitive to light and should take precautions to protect themselves from light for the necessary period of time (may be days or weeks depending on the photosensitising drug used).